Is Your Body Nutrionally Ready for Conception?
Eating nutritionally is very important pre-conception
Ideally, you should start three months to one year prior to conception to make sure that your nutritional status is at its best. Your nutrient stores (cells storing the nutrients) should be well-stocked, and you shouldn’t be too under/over weight.
To maximize your nutrient stores before conception, you should comsume these food daily…..
- 2 to 3 calcium rich foods, such as, low fat milk,cheese, yogurt
- 7 servings of fruits and vegetable with 2 servings being rich in folic acid, such as, lentils, orange juice,spinach or broccoli.Select at least one food rich in vitamin C such as oranges cantaloupe kiwi or papaya.
- 2 servings or more of lean, high protien foods, such as, white meat poultry.
- 6 servings or more of whole-grain foods, including brown-rice,oatmeal
and whole wheat bread.
- And as always, drink plenty of fluids.
Along with a healthy diet, it would be smart to take a vitamin and mineral supplement that contains 100 to 150 percent of the Reference Daily Intakes for all vitamins and minerals. Make sure the supplement contains 400 micrograms of Folic Acid and 18 milligrams of Iron. Recent studies are showing the connection between supplements and a decreased incidence of many types of birth defects.
Supplementing with folic acid before conception can reduce the risk of nueral tube defects by as much as 70%. The US Public Health Service recommends that all women of child bearing age get 400 micrograms of folic acid a day.
As for iron, it can be difficult for a woman to get the amount needed from food while staying within a reasonable calorie intake. However, extra iron is important to help supply the future babys needs and the increased blood volume that occurs during pregnancy.
It it critical to point out that some vitamins and minerals can be toxic if taken in too large of an amount. If taken in megadoses vitamin A and D can cause birth defects. Therefore, be safe by choosing a supplement that does not exceed the 100 to 150 percentRDI plus the 400 micrograms of folic acid. During your visit with a health care provider ask what they recommend .
By combining a healthy diet with supplements, you will be giving your baby a great start in life.
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